Following up on the previous blog article, “If Your Ex Moved On, Gladly Pass The Baton”, the question was raised: If you received a warning message from your boyfriend’s ex, during the Honeymoon or Idealization phase, would you even listen?
Would you heed the warning? Would it even do a darn bit of good? You may believe, like so many others, that sending a warning letter is akin to throwing a life-preserver to someone who is drowning. It probably kills you inside to know that the new target is being conned, and set up for misery just as you were, and those before you. So many people have actually sent these warning messages and tried to toss a life-preserver to the new “target” (the next victim of the narcissistic sociopath, or narcissist), only for it to backfire in their faces. Sometimes these messages are sent out of spite, or jealousy, and sometimes they are sent out of genuine concern, but whatever the motivation behind these warnings, I am against sending them. Why?
The idealization stage is so compelling, the narcissist is simply the best partner you have ever had, skilled in positioning himself, or herself as such. He/she has morphed into your ideal mate. They have a way of instinctively knowing what you want, and desire and they know how to deliver it as believable, and skilled as an Oscar-winning performance.
The target of the narcissist has fallen madly in love, and will only view the warning messages from any ex-boyfriend, or girlfriend, as further confirmation that their new lover is as fantastic as they already believe he/she to be, and the messenger will be shot down as being jealous, and vindictive. The exes will most likely be viewed as haters and liars, only hoping to break up the relationship, for the purpose of having a crack at getting Mr. or Ms. “Wonderful” back for themselves. Even worse, a warning message will only strengthen the bond between the target and the narcissist, as now they have a common enemy to unite together against.
All the expected lies the narcissist has said about you, will only look more credible in the eyes of the new target, and you will seem like a foolish, jilted, and jealous ex-lover.
I know many of you truly have good intentions, and only want to warn the next target, from a place of “sisterhood” or “brotherhood” and protection. You may say to yourself, “Dang, if I wasn’t able to save myself from that hell, at least I can save another.” Or you might think, “I wish I had been warned! I am most certainly doing the new target a big favor”, but the narcissist will have beaten you to the punch, and will only discredit you as the jilted ex-lover.
Now, if you can think back to when you were perched up high on that pedestal, and the narcissist was your “perfect” partner, would you have listened? No, you wouldn’t have! You would think that what you had with the narcissist was so special, that they would never treat you the way the ex claims they treated them. You would believe that what the two of you share is different from all the rest. Heck, the two of you are meant to be “soul mates”. The narcissist refers to you as their future spouse and tells you how perfect you are for them; that you are the person that they have been searching for their whole lives, and they don’t think they could possibly love anyone more than you. That you make them so happy, and they cannot imagine life without you. Remember how it felt so real and amazing, like nothing you ever felt before? You could never even imagine that the narcissist has said those things to every other “soul mate” he/she has had, and if they did, well, it’s the “real deal” with you, clearly! So, you fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
All wars and famine will cease to exist before the new target is going to believe your little warning message, or consider it, while they’re under the spell of the narcissist. There is no way in hell, the target is going to believe anything you have to say, no matter how true it is. Not for a New York minute, unless you had the perfect timing, and knew exactly when the abuses of the Devaluation phase were taking place, as they surely will.
So, save your time and good intentions, and instead of making a fool out of yourself, or worse, provide the narcissist with the extra supply of thinking you still care, thus, rendering you a future source of supply to fall back on, just know that we all have to go through our own journeys in life, and learn our own lessons, in our own time. Spend that precious energy on saving yourself instead, and getting on with your life. Continue to educate yourself on the warning signs, and red flags of these types, in order to be the wiser, and prevent it from occurring to you again.
With that said, not many people would believe warning messages from their narc’s previous exes during the Idealization stage, with all of the love-bombing that goes on. However, had they received a warning message, it definitely would have made a difference once the honeymoon phase had ended. Instead of questioning themselves, and their intuition, and hanging on for so long, trying to get back that once perfect guy or gal, they would have remembered receiving the warning message –the little life-preserver, that had been thrown their way, and they would have had the validation they needed to confidently jump ship so much sooner. They are in the hands of a Narcissistic Personality Disordered person, and until they learn to spot and handle the red flags, there is not much one can do to keep them from falling for what we all fell for, but they will get there one day, and hopefully become stronger, and wiser the next time around.
This article was co-written by Bree Bonchay and Izzy Micheo.
Bree Bonchay, LCSW, is a psychotherapist with over 18 years of experience working in the field of mental health and trauma recovery. She specializes in helping people recover from toxic relationships and shares her insights about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and psychopathy in her blog FreeFromToxic. Her articles have been featured in major online magazines and she has appeared on radio as a guest expert. She is also a dedicated advocate, educator, and facilitates survivor support groups and workshops.
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